Today we welcome new writer Brian Buccellato to the Injustice team in an issue that also gives us the return of a long-absent Wonder Woman. This issue collects Digital Firsts 15 & 16, another “2-parter” titled “Awakenings” (1 & 2).

The solicit for this book basically tells you everything that happens (which is kind of unfortunate, but there’s plenty of good action here to keep it interesting). Basically Wonder Woman finally awakes (she’s been out of the picture since getting nearly immolated by Atom in Year One). Her Mother has invoked Ares to remove a spell that was binding her to sleep (and he can do the same for Superman). They go at once to the Hall of Justice and Wonder Woman is put into a rage seeing Sinestro acting as de facto chief, Hal wearing yellow, and Superman himself donning the loathsome yellow ring. Wonder Woman hands Sinestro a beatdown, they rouse Superman (with whom Wonder Woman has words–and he relinquishes the ring), and then they go en masse to rescue Cyborg, Flash, and a very snotty Damian since Spectre’s discovered their whereabouts in the Tower the Fate.

The Good

Having Wonder Woman back is awesome (she’s seriously been gone forever!). She’s also not taking any guff from anyone now that she’s returned and I like that too. Her conversation with Superman (the real one, not the dream one) is pretty intense. He wants to wax nostalgic and she just tells him how it is. It’s also nice to spend some actual time in the Superman camp. This whole year so far has really focused on the Resistance for the most part with just brief stop-ins to remind us who Batman’s clan is fighting.

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Superman isn’t the only one having pleasant dreams

I admit I’m kind of disappointed that Superman didn’t stay down for longer. It seemed ridiculously easy to wake him back up (not a well-conceived plan Bats and John; you leave him there to be found by his people, and didn’t consider that there is power out there that can undo the magic?). I can’t help but feel like this is somewhat weak plotting on Tom Taylor’s part (and yes, I say Taylor because we know Buccellato is writing from Taylor’s outline for Year Three), but I’m not going to get hung up on it. We’re four short issues (or eight weeks worth of Digital Firsts) away from the Year Three finale, after all, so it stands to reason that things need to move along at this point.

How do you feel about it? Worthy of the “Bad” section or “whatever, it’s comics”?

The art in the first half of the book is ably done by Mike S. Miller and J. Nanjan (colors). Nanjan’s sunset in the opening pages is stunning; particularly the beautiful way the colors are reflected in Superman’s eye on the very first page. Ares also looks awesome, menacing, and powerful. He’s one scary-looking character, though I would have liked to see him do more than haunt the background looking sinister.

The big thrill of this issue is the fight between Wonder Woman and Sinestro. Maybe not much of a fight as Sinestro basically get tossed about like a red-faced Raggedy Ann, but there is much satisfaction in that nevertheless. And the cliffhanger ending, of course, sets us up with the promise of further battle delights for the next round.

The Bad

Miller’s Superman in the first half pulls some goofy faces (some of which seem to be intentional, but others not so much). Otherwise his Wonder Woman is excellent and he draws a really nice Batman.

The art in the second half, however (rendered by Sergio Davila on pencils and Juan Albarran on inks), often feels off-model and many of the characters’ faces/expressions are not strong. Characters often fail to make eye contact within a panel and the profiles are very flat or proportionally strange depending on the angle. Generally there’s a lot of inconsistency in these pages and some continuity issues compared to the first half (look at Wonder Woman’s pants; at the design, not just to see her bootie). I will say, though, that the action sequences are very nicely choreographed and I especially like the panel with the explosion at the very end.

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Dr. Fate playing Pop-o-matic with the Resistance again

Lastly, not a fan of this issue’s cover by Neil Googe and J. Nanjan. Compositionally it’s exciting and on-point in terms of the story. But Wonder Woman’s body is kind of out of proportion and weirdly boobalicious and muscular at the same time, which we know just isn’t natural even if she is an Amazon princess. Worse still, our eyes land right on her chest rather than the focal point that should be: following the action line from her hand to Sinestro’s face. Mind you, it’s not terrible; it just could be better.

The Ugly

No real ugly this time around. Despite the wobbling art, this is a solid book overall.

Recommended If…

  • You’d like to see the start of Buccellato’s take on the Injustice world.
  • The return of Wonder Woman is something you’ve been waiting for!
  • You’re a big fan of Superman and Wonder Woman together (as a couple or just colleagues)
  • Seeing Sinestro repeatedly thrashed gives you great joy (it does for me).

Overall

Buccellato brings strong energy to his first collected issue of Injustice in this tale that resurrects Wonder Woman and restores Superman to the Blue and Red. Some in-fighting in Superman’s camp makes for high drama, and the vulnerability of the Resistance telegraphs a big battle to come. Those of you who are reading the Digital Firsts already know all the secrets that lie in wait–and that every issue of Injustice is well worth the price of admission.

SCORE: 8/10